Trout farming attracts investors from outside the sector
Trout, fresh and processed, for the retail sector Romania’s ﬁsheries sector can be divided into marine capture, freshwater capture, and aquaculture. Marine capture ﬁsheries are from the Black Sea where Romanian catches have been on the decline from 2008 to 2010, but picked up signiﬁcantly in 2011. Inland catches have ﬂuctuated less over the same period; altogether capture ﬁsheries, both marine and freshwater, amounted to 3,254 tonnes in 2011 of which freshwater ﬁsh were 83%.
he fish farming sector on the other hand cultivates primarily cyprinids, salmonids, and some carnivorous species and had a production in 2011 of approximately 6,400 tonnes of cyprinids, 1,600 tonnes of trout, and 400 tonnes of other species. Since 2007 cyprinid cultivation increased to a peak of over 11,000 tonnes in 2009, but has fallen thereafter in both 2010 and 2011, while over the same period the production of trout has climbed slowly but steadily. Over the last three to four years trout production has increased significantly, says Catalin Platon, Executive Director of Romfish, the National Association of Farmed Fish Producers.
Explosive growth in trout production Statistics from NAFA, the National Agency for Fisheries and Aquaculture show that trout production increased by 235 from 725 tonnes in 2007 to 1,705 tonnes in 2011. The trend is increasing he says, partly because there are so many trout farm projects financed through the EFF. Some of these are model farms using modern technology and high production rates, the feed is high quality, and the technical expertise available for building and managing a trout farm is very good. In www.eurofishmagazine.com
addition, the market for trout is assured because the demand for the fish cannot be met through domestic production. Currently, on the market one can find trout from Italy, Turkey, Greece, and Bulgaria. Trout farming is attracting investments from outside the sector too as investors looking for a good return see trout farming as an activity with potential. One of these is Alexandru-Tudor Georgescu, a shareholder in a company called Nereus Management srl. With the help of funding from the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) Nereus has built a trout farm with a capacity of minimum 360 tonnes per year. The total investment was about EUR2m of which 60 came from the EFF. The farm is located in Stoenesti about 140 km north west of Bucharest on the bank of a river from where it draws water. The 4.1 ha site was chosen not only for its proximity to the river, but also because the river could supply the volume of water required (1 cubic m per second), and also because the water was the right temperature. Bogdan Sulica, Manager Aquaculture, says that the area is one that gets quite cold in winter with plenty of snow and so the temperature of the water is
Water from the river is stored in a reservoir before being ﬁltered and used on the farm.
between 2 and 6 degrees. The farm is completely new, the site had to be developed from scratch, and the 72 tanks are now just waiting for the fish to come out from the hatchery. Each of the circular tanks has a diameter of 10 m and a capacity of 90 cubic m. The tanks are made of wood and have an inner lining of thick plastic.
Eggs imported from Denmark The farm is so new that the very first batch of eggs hatched in early April this year. The farm has a hatchery, but no broodstock, and the eggs are imported from a supplier in Denmark. We intend to import 150,000 eggs per month, says Mr Sulica, as that will allow us to maintain a production of about 1 tonne of market-sized fish a day. The hatchery has an independent
supply of water from a spring. Spring water has the advantage of maintaining its temperature more or less constantly throughout the year. At the Nereus hatchery the spring water stays between 7 and 12 degrees. In addition, because it comes from the ground the water is unlikely to be carrying pathogens. Even so the water is run past a UV filter to be quite sure that it carries no hazards for the eggs. We have a UV filter and we add a little oxygen to the water, says Mr Sulica, and then it is ready to be used. Once the eggs hatch the alevins spend another 1.5 to 2 months in the hatchery until they are about 2 g in size. By this time they will already have been introduced to dry feed. The fry will then be moved from the hatchery into the on-growing tanks. As they grow the fish will be sorted regularly Eurofish Magazine 3/ 2013
This issue covers Romania and reviews the ESE in Brussels. The Aquaculture section looks at new candidate species.